Football

Leeds defender dreaming of World Cup spot that is ‘in the hands of the national coach’

Leeds

Leeds defender Robin Koch is still dreaming of a spot in the Germany 2022 World Cup squad.

But he has admitted that his potential place in the squad is now in the hands of manager Hansi Flick.

The centre-back has eight caps for his national team. He made his debut back in 2019, going on to make another appearance that year.

Five caps followed in 2020. But the appearances have dried up upon the appointment of Flick. Koch played just once for Germany in 2021.

The Leeds man was forced to watch all of his country’s Euro 2020 campaign from the bench. He hasn’t been selected for Germany since.

Leeds defender “still hoping” for World Cup place

As reported by Sport Witness, Koch believes he can offer plenty to Germany this winter, both on and off the pitch.

“I’m still hoping,” said Koch. “I’m sure I can give a lot of positivity to any team on and off the pitch, including the national team.

“I’ve mentioned many times that I can only step on the gas and put in strong performances at my club.

“That has worked out quite well so far this season. Everything else is in the hands of the national coach.”

Koch a regular for Leeds this season

Koch’s hopes come amid a disappointing season for Leeds so far. The Yorkshire outfit sit 15th in the Premier League table after 12 matches.

Jesse Marsch’s side have won just three of those games. They’ve also drawn three, losing the other six. The latest win against Liverpool was, however, a huge victory for the club. It ended a run of four successive defeats.

Koch has been a regular at the back for his club this season. He has played 90 minutes in all but one of the 12 league games. And he also featured in the other, playing 45 minutes against Leicester before being substituted at half-time.

Koch also played a half in the League Cup second-round win against Barnsley.

Leeds

Koch battling it out with many top talents

Flick must submit his final World Cup squad by November 14. The country’s preliminary squad has not been released publicly, but Koch is expected to have been included.

The defender is, however, battling it out with some of Europe’s best defenders for a space in the final 26-man squad.

Real Madrid’s Antonio Rudiger is perhaps the first name on the list. The former Chelsea man is widely regarded as one of the best centre-backs in Europe.

Also expected to be included is Borussia Dortmund pair Nico Schlotterbeck and Niklas Sule.

The Leeds regular may well be competing with some Premier League players for a spot. Southampton’s Armel Bella-Kotchap is one such player.

The youngster has just one cap to his name, making his debut in September’s 3-3 Nations League draw with England. Fellow Premier League man Thilo Kehrer could also be included. He joined West Ham from PSG in the summer.

Koch has proven he is capable of playing at centre-back, right-back and in defensive midfield. But it remains to be seen whether he makes the final cut for his country in Qatar.